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Week 31 Day 1
Ask God to reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
Mark 10:13-16 People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.
These children were very small. In fact, Luke’s account calls some of them babies. They were small enough that he was able to “take them in his arms.” The disciples did not dislike children, but they were probably trying to protect Jesus from interruptions. He was busy with “important” stuff and could not be bothered by small children. It shows how much they did not yet understand. Jesus was a master of turning the events of life into teaching moments. Clearly, this incident made an impression on the disciples because it was included in the gospel account. John wrote that “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written” (John 21:25). Since Jesus did many more things and said many more things than are included in the gospels, it should make us very attuned to what is included. The disciples were impacted by this event and God wants us to be impacted as well. There are many things to learn about God and us in this passage. Jesus very clearly said that if we do not receive the kingdom like a child, we would not receive it all. The Kingdom of God in this context is the reign of Christ in our hearts. Entering his Kingdom brings the peace, presence, power, and purposes of God into our lives now in part and one day in full. We are to come to the King and receive his Kingdom as a child would. A child is not self-conscious when it comes to his needs. Adults may be coy, reserved, or just too proud to admit to a need or desire. But small children, when they have a need, are sure to make that need known. A proud adult would sometimes rather go without than admit weakness or need. This would be inconceivable for a small child. We are not to become childish, but childlike. Childish would make us demanding and petulant (moody, touchy). Childlike means we have some qualities of a child. We must be childlike in regard to our need for God. We have learned as adults to be self-sufficient. This is good and important in order that we do not become childish adults. But as childlike adults, we must know that our self-sufficiency does not apply to our relationship with God. When we enter the world as adults, we must do all we can to care for our own needs and the needs of others. But as we move through the world as “physical adults,” we must remember to do so as “spiritual children.” Not children in that we are not growing in our faith, but children in that we never outgrow our desperate need for God. As you talk with God today, remember to be childlike without being childish. Do not demand from him and do not forget your utter dependence on him.
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today.